Are Buyers Waiting in the Weeds?

I’ve been watching something the last 60 days that I’ve personally decided may be a trend here in Cumming, Forsyth County, Georgia.

I’ve noted several examples of this phenomenon, but I’ll use one property as an example.  I listed this two-story, late 90’s build home with a finished terrace level last September for $365,000.  The home is very well maintained, has a great back yard with both a sun deck and a screened porch.  The owner told me that they wanted to go ahead and get on the market, but really wasn’t going to be motivated to sell until Spring 2011.  After a few showings, we reduced the price to $350,000 sometime in late 2010.  All through the listing period, the property received at least one showing a week, with a little lull during the Holidays. 

The only negative about this property is that it has a steep driveway up to the garage entrances, which I pointed out during the listing appointment and was confirmed from showing feedbacks.  After looking at our local market trends (prices still moving slowly downward), recent sales (very few) and the competition, I counseled my client to go ahead and drop the price to $340,000.  That goes against my personal philosophy of pricing homes at specific price points, such as at $350,000. 

(As an aside, buyers search from $325k – $350k or $350k to $400k.  A price at $340k would cause us to miss buyers starting their search at $350k.  That’s why I try to price property at search points.)

So, I dropped the price on Sunday morning.  Since that time, I’ve had one showing each on Monday – Wednesday and two showings today (Thursday).  I’m fairly convinced, but with fingers crossed and a rabbits foot in my pockeet, that we will get this property under contract shortly.

So, what’s the trend I mentioned at the beginning?  Buyers seem to be reticent to physically view a property until the price hits what they believe to be either fair or a sllight deal.  Otherwise, they are just flat skipping equity-seller properties and sticking with foreclosures and short sales (which represent about 50% of the sales in Forsyth County). 

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